Red squirrel numbers are rebounding in UK forests as pine martens eat grey squirrel

inews reports the pine martens live in forests or pockets of forestland, meaning the improvement is only being felt in these areas. Red squirrel numbers have rebounded significantly in parts of the UK in the past decade after years of decline, a new study finds.

The increase in red squirrel numbers has occurred in forested areas, hand in hand with growing pine marten populations, researchers say. That’s because the pine martens are eating the grey squirrels that have largely driven away the red squirrels over the years. 

Harvest mice surprise researchers with unexpected resurgence after reintroduction 15 years ago

The Independent reports harvest mice were once common across Europe, but populations have fallen due to modern agricultural techniques. Harvest mice were once common across Europe, but populations have fallen due to modern agricultural techniques.

The UK’s smallest rodent – the harvest mouse – is making an unexpected resurgence in Northumberland 15 years after a reintroduction of the species was believed to have failed. A 2009 survey of the site at the Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s East Chevington reserve turned up nothing, and researchers concluded the 204 harvest mice released in 2004 had not successfully colonised the area. 

‘Forgotten’ elm tree set to make a comeback

Elm tree by Spacing Magazine under creative commons

BBC NEWS reports the elm tree can return to the British countryside, given a helping hand, according to a new report. More than 20 million trees died during the 1960s and 1970s from Dutch elm disease. In the aftermath, the elm was largely forgotten, except among a handful of enthusiasts who have been breeding elite elms that can withstand attack. The research is showing promise and there is reason to be hopeful, said the Future Trees Trust charity.

Report author, Karen Russell, said mature specimens have been identified that are hundreds of years old, and have mysteriously escaped the epidemic. And a new generation of elm seedlings are being bred, which appear to be resistant to the disease.